How to Plant Fir Trees


Over 50 species of fir trees exist. They have needles instead of leaves and some can grow 250 feet high or more. Fir trees are propagated by their wing-shaped seeds, which are stored in the trees' pinecones. Most firs are very hardy but some need attention during periods of drought. Unless you are growing Christmas trees, they don't require pruning. Fir trees benefit the environment, as each one absorbs 15 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

Things You'll Need

  • Fir tree (2- or 3-year-old seedling) Spade Organic matter or compost (optional) Water Mulch

How to Plant Fir Trees

  • Plant the fir tree in the early spring, before or just as new growth develops. You can also plant the fir in the fall when the plant is dormant. Fir trees prefer full sun or part shade whether they live in northern or southern regions.

  • Prepare the soil. Firs need acidic well-drained soil to grow, and most don't do well in heavy clay soil. Add compost or organic matter to clay soil before planting. Dig a hole big enough to accommodate the roots.

  • Place the tree carefully in the hole. Spread the roots and cover them with soil. Fill the hole and tamp the soil to eliminate air pockets.

  • Water the soil and keep it moist. Newly planted firs can't be allowed to dry out. Although some firs are drought-tolerant, all of them benefit from weekly watering for the first year after being planted.

  • Spread a 1- to 2-inch-deep layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help keep the soil moist.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get your soil tested at your local county extension office to determine if you need to amend it before planting your fir tree.
  • In wet conditions, don't water the tree and move the mulch 4 to 6 inches away from the trunk. Too much water can kill a fir tree. Don't plant a fir seedling in direct sunlight unless it is at least 2 or 3 years old.

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